Information for People with Cancer and their Carers
We are delighted to share with you evidence-based information, resources and recipes to support people with cancer who are in active treatment or post treatment. The information and recipes found here were developed by an exceptional team of registered dietitians* in University College Cork led by Dr. Aoife Ryan, tested by chefs in Munster Technological University and are endorsed by the National Cancer Control Programme (NCCP), Irish Nutrition and Dietetic Institute (INDI), Irish Society for Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism (IrSPEN) and Irish Society of Medical Oncology (ISMO).
*In Ireland the title Dietitian is protected by law so these professionals are registered with CORU (coru.ie) in the Department of Health. Registered Dietitians are the best source of dietary information if you currently have cancer or are a survivor of cancer. If you can’t access a registered dietitian, talk to your oncologist or oncology nurse who will help you access the right evidence-based dietary advice.
BENEFITS OF NUTRITION DURING CANCER
Eating a nutritious diet is essential during cancer.
Research has shown that weight loss caused by cancer and cancer treatment can reduce your response to treatment, increase treatment related side-effects and reduce your overall survival. This type of weight loss is stressful and can majorly affect your overall quality of life.
A healthy diet includes a variety of foods including carbohydrates, protein, fats, vitamins and minerals. A diet rich in energy and protein helps you to maintain a healthy weight during cancer. Side effects caused by the disease or its treatment can often make eating and maintaining a healthy weight a difficult task for cancer patients.
It is important to remember that keeping well nourished is vital for recovery and yields many physical and mental benefits.
The advice and recipe books included on this website are specifically tailored to people with cancer and cancer survivors. We have separated the information in three ways for:
- People with Cancer who are losing weight due to their disease or the treatments they are receiving
- People with Cancer of the upper gut who are experiencing swallowing difficulties and weightloss due to their disease or the treatment they are receiving
- Cancer Survivors who have been advised by their medical team to follow a healthy diet and cancer survivors who have finished treatment and been told they are in remission (given the all clear) from thier disease
But one size does not fit all – it is essential that you consult with your doctor or dietitian on whether the advice here is appropriate for you. If you have any other conditions besides cancer it is important to talk to your nurse, doctor or dietitian for specific advice. These recipe books should never be used to replace advice from your medical team or dietitian. Indeed your nutrition needs may change at different points on your cancer path.